The Tampa Bay Rays plugged a major hole in their outfield Thursday, acquiring Corey Dickerson and third baseman Kevin Padlo from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for pitchers Jake McGee and German Marquez, the Rockies announced.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported the news.
Rosenthal spoke about the financial impact the move will have on the Rays:
Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
#Rays saving more than $4M with this trade. Could apply it toward signing of Desmond. But are they willing to give up No. 13 pick in draft?2016-1-28 21:10:25
Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
Clarification: #Rays will save more than $4M IF they do not include cash to help cover McGee’s salary. Do not yet know if money is involved.2016-1-28 21:50:11
"A hitter like him ... often times is hard to come by. Too much to pass up in this case," said Rays team president Matthew Silverman to reporters.
Dickerson, 26, hit .304/.333/.536 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 65 games played last season. He suffered rib and foot injuries that cost him most of the year.
McGee, 29, went 1-2 with a 2.41 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. He had six saves and 19 holds, emerging as a reliable late-inning option leading up to closer Brad Boxberger.
On nearly every level, this is a curious move from Colorado's perspective. Dickerson is a promising young talent who has come into his own when healthy over the last two seasons.
FanGraphs' formula graded him at 2.6 wins above replacement in 2014, and he likely would have come close to matching that in 2015 had he stayed on the field. The Rockies also retained team control on Dickerson until at least 2020, so their reasoning for moving him now is a little dubious.
From an internal perspective, the justification will be that Colorado had a logjam in the outfield. The issue was it was a self-created one. The Rockies signed 28-year-old Gerardo Parra to a three-year contract earlier this month. Parra has put up a combined 0.5 FanGraphs WAR over the last two seasons—the same number Dickerson contributed in 65 games last year.
While Parra was brilliant in his final full season with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013, the logistics here don't really add up. The Rockies will be paying more for Parra over the balance of his deal than they would Dickerson, who many would argue is the better player. At the very least, they're a rebuilding team that added three years in age without upgrading from a skill perspective.
Doing so based on a package based around McGee is the ultimate sell-low. McGee is a fine middle reliever, but that's what he is. He's almost exclusively a fastball pitcher and will make $4.8 million next season before again hitting arbitration. The Rockies aren't anywhere near competing in the NL West either, so bolstering their mid-innings relief is unlikely to make much of a dent next season.
Good luck sorting this one out from Colorado's perspective. As for the Rays, this is a poaching of a promising young talent at a position of need for minimal cost.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter